Black trumpeter Roy Eldridge (1911), who arrived in New York in 1930 from Pennsylvania and briefly played in Fletcher Henderson's orchestra (1935),
heralded a new age (the age of bebop), although he played in swing bands.
Eldridge initially emulated Louis Armstrong albeit adding a sense of the narrative
dimension to the melodic improvisation.
But he started extending the range of the trumpet in some numbers by his
1936 Chicago-based eight-piece band (with his brother Joe as main arranger):
Turner Layton's After You've Gone (january 1937),
Wabash Stomp (january 1937), boasting one of his most celebrated solos,
Heckler's Hop (january 1937).
He trained by playing Coleman Hawkins' saxophone solos on trumpet, i.e. by
simulating the keys of the saxophone with the movements of his lips.
Eldridge (one of the first black soloists to feature in a white jazz band)
reached maturity in Gene Krupa's band from 1941 to 1943, his trumpet
highlighting their two hits, Hoagy Carmichael's Rockin' Chair (july 1941)
and Earl Bostic's Let Me Off Uptown (may 1941), as well as his own
Drum Boogie (composed in 1941, recorded by Krupa in october 1941).
Thanks to Eldridge, the phrasing of the trumpet became much more eloquent,
assertive and expressive. His improvisations were more intricate and creative.
His melodic lines were almost violent by comparison with the previous generation
Eldridge then joined Artie Shaw's band (1944-45), but bebop was rapidly making
Eldridge died in 1989.
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